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Initial Waterloo State Significant Precinct Declaration Details

Following the State Significant Precinct declaration for Waterloo on 18 May 2017 additional information was placed on both the NSW Planning and Environment's website and on the Communities Plus website. REDWatch provided the following initial unpacking of the declaration announcement to members, supporters and agencies on 21 May 2016.

The long awaited declaration of the Waterloo State Significant Precinct (SSP) happened in a Media Release dated 18 May which was made public on Friday 19 May 2017. The declaration means that master planning for the redevelopment of the Waterloo public housing estate can now start. Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC) which owns the estate expect capacity building to continue over the next month or so and for consultation workshops to start towards the end of June/beginning of July. The current relocation date for the first tenants to be moved from the estate has not been pushed back past mid-2018 even though the planning process is expected to take up to 18 months to complete from its commencement.

Below is what we know from the declaration and the initial release of information by LAHC.

The SSP declaration covers the entire area of the consolidated Waterloo public including the private property within the boundary of the consolidated estate. NSW Planning and Environment on the State Significant Precincts page for Waterloo spells out the implications for private property holders as “should rezoning take place, future development proposals would be assessed against new and amended planning controls”. The declaration also covers what will happen over the land being compulsorily required for the new underground Waterloo Metro Railway station. This area is now referred to as the Metro Quarter. Concerns have been expressed about the density that might be put above Metro station to help pay for Sydney Metro and  the recommendations for what happens on this site will also be part of the SSP assessment.

You can see the area covered in the 20-hecare precinct in the declaration’s map parts of Waterloo (PDF map, 3.6MB). If you compare this map with the map of the estate and the Metro site resumption on the Central to Eveleigh Waterloo page (reproduced here) you can see the private property areas along Wellington Street and Cope Street between Wellington and John Streets which are not coloured in the UrbanGrowth map.

UrbanGrowth NSW will participate in master planning across the SSP site. In the Metro Quarter, UrbanGrowth will develop a comprehensive master plan. On the LAHC land it will assist LAHC with technical work involved in developing the master plan for its site. NSW Planning and Environment says that the metro station design and the master plan for the Waterloo estate will be integrated. The statement says FACS will organise a series of master planning workshops for the community, but it is not currently clear who will handle engagement for the private landowners whose properties presumably will not be master planned. The statement on the Communities Plus website makes no reference to the private land within the estate which FACS is master planning and nothing at all has been posted yet by UrbanGrowth since the SSP declaration. NSW Planning and Environment says it will write to property owners within the precinct to formally notify them of the rezoning investigation and explain the SSP process for Waterloo.

In a statement to REDWatch on 22 May 2017 we were advised "LAHC is leading the community engagement and communications for the Waterloo SSP precinct.  This includes the estate, above station, as well as engagement with the private owners.  The Communities Plus website will be the repository of information for the Waterloo redevelopment and the community will be informed when new information is posted on the website via the WRG [Waterloo Redevelopment Group] and via other channels.  To make it easier for the residents, the community and other stakeholders, all inquiries should be channelled through LAHC, via Waterloo Connect and LAHC will direct the queries to relevant areas and respond back."

The precinct will now be investigated for rezoning through the State Significant Precincts process. The specific studies to be undertaken over the next 12-18 months are expected to be made public in coming days. Undertakings were given by LAHC that the community will have access to the scope of the studies and will have the opportunity to ask for key issues of concern which are not already included to be added.

Once the master plan process is completed FACS and UrbanGrowth NSW will submit a State Significant Precinct Study to support the rezoning proposals to NSW Planning and Environment. NSW Planning and Environment and the City of Sydney Council will jointly assess proposals within the State Significant Precinct Study.

While the City of Sydney Council has been, and will continue to be, involved in within the SSP tent, City of Sydney Council has previously recognised around Central to Eveleigh that it also needs to work with residents so that it can make an informed input into the planning process.

REDWatch has invited representatives from City of Sydney Council to the REDWatch meeting on Thursday 1st June to present on Density done Well - what does it mean for a redevelopment like Waterloo?

A forum for Agencies dealing with the Waterloo community will take place at Projects 107, 107 Redfern St on Thursday 25th May, between 12pm and 3.30pm by Inner Sydney Voice (previously Inner Sydney Regional Council for Social Development). This forum will include input from LAHC on the master planning and is aimed to help agencies respond to their clients concerns heading into master planning. Agency representatives are encouraged to attend a the “Waterloo Redevelopment – Where Do We Start?’ forum. Please RSVP to Thomas at to secure a spot and for catering purposes.

You can find information about various aspects of the Waterloo redevelopment on the following websites:

Material from the current redevelopment proposals is being posted on the REDWatch website at  Waterloo Public Housing Redevelopment & Metro Station.